Why You Need To Do Your Thing

…in a recent episode of his podcast, Kevin Smith interviewed Robert  Kirkman,  (he of Walking Dead fame) about the comic book that existed before the show.

When the comic took off out the gate, he knew it was going to be big, but he didn’t know how big – or didn’t see a TV series coming about from it.

But when it did, it pulled in 16 million viewers on it’s very first episode, leaving everything else in it’s wake.

Now, while I could end the story there, I won’t.

You see, Kevin Smith had an idea for a TV show of his own, one which would feature his friends and their love of all things comic book and pop culture.

Comic Book Men’s success came about because part of the huge Walking Dead audience hung around afterwards to watch the show.

Now, while I could end that story there, I won’t.

You see, a group of army vets suffering from P.T.S.D, used to use Comic Book Men and their love of old comic books and nostalgia as an ice breaker and a way to bond with each other.

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Now, let’s go back over all that for a moment….

A comic book writer gets to make a TV show he never saw coming, bringing him fame and fortune.

That TV show lead to another TV show, giving Kevin and his friends a vehicle to build a following and celebrate their love of comics.

And that TV show brought a group of P.T.S.D army vets together so they could talk through their problems.

If Robert Kirkman hadn’t wrote that first comic, none of that would have happened.

And the same goes for what you’re doing, or afraid to do. You never know how you’re going to affect someone’s life with what you create.

You may think that book you’re writing isn’t worth publishing, that no one will read your emails or blog posts, or wonder if you really have it to make a course teaching someone something.

Honestly, you don’t know how your words, thoughts, or the confidence you give someone, will ripple outward and affect people you may never meet.

That’s, if you do it….

…if you don’t…..

…well, we’ll all never know what might have been.

Little did I know the Cheap Children’s Picture book course would be the first step I’d take to bring me to where I am now.

If I didn’t do it, we wouldn’t even know each other right now. But I did and here we are.

You can find what I create next, here.

Fiction Writers, Where’s The 2.0 Version Of Your Book?

If you’ve just dropped by for the first time, (where were you?) you may have missed my 2.0 post the other day.

Now, while it was written with a non fiction author in mind, there’s no reason why a fiction author can’t do the same.

While you might have more limits on what you can do, compared to a non fiction writer, there’s no reason why you can’t make more money from your last book.

Here’s a few ideas…

Writer’s Commentary – We’ve all seen those DVD extras where the director of a movie will sit down and go through the whole movie and comment on how they made it.  These are usually why they made choices they did, where ideas came from, and even what they might have changed about the finished movie. -There’s no reason why you as an author can’t do the same.

While you could write a daily diary as you write your book, there’s nothing stopping you from talking into an iPhone,  creating a few MP3 files, and offering them for readers to listen along to.

Not only is it a way for them to look behind the creative curtain, but it gives them a better idea about how your characters came about, why you wrote them the way you did, and what you’ve got planned for the future.

These extra’s, you can add and publish as a second version of your book, or as a bonus for readers to download from your site.

Merchandise – Depending on your book, you may get some more use out of the cover and content from it.  – Take the book cover as an example.

If you’re writing for the Sci-Fi/ Fantasy audience, there’s no reason not to make more use of that image of that Starship or Fantasy character on the cover.  If it’s a particularly good image, you could get more mileage out of it by selling t-shirts, mugs, or other apparel with the image on it.

Not only could you do a limited run, to make them more exclusive, but there’s nothing stopping you from setting up a free competition to get fans to share your book on social media, or as an incentive to get them to join your email list.

Translate Your Book – Want to make two, three or more versions of your book without writing another book? Then simply translate your book into the most popular languages.

Not only will you be reaching readers, but you may find that your competition drops off in the foreign language category you enter.  – Because let’s face it, most people are took lazy to go the effort of getting their book translated.

One site you could go to hire a translator is Upwork.com.  If you’ve never done it before, here’s a post of what to look out for when hiring an freelancer. 

Audio Book – If you haven’t got  an audio version of your book created yet, or in the works, you need your head seen to.  Not only are you missing out on a market, that’s exploding in popularity at the moment, but you’ve also got something for past readers to buy.

Think about the Harry Potter market for a moment. You’ve got all the books, you’ve read them numerous times, and along comes the audio version of the books read by Stephen Fry.  – Hmmm, methinks you’d be first in line to get your copy of them.  – Same content, different format.

And who knows, if you hire the right narrator (something you can do at either UpWork.com or ACX.com) your finished book may actually be better than the written text.

Create and publish your books through Audible.com, and you can pick up some handsome bounty payments ($50 at present) if you can get readers to sign up to the service.  – And all from content you’ve already written.  🙂 

Write A Short Story – If you’re like most authors, you may have content from your book that’s never going to be seen.

Maybe you’ve got a chapter where your character went off to do something that didn’t suit the finished book? Or maybe you’ve written pages of back story on your main character or villain that’s sitting on your hard drive collecting dust?

Could you massage that content into a short story and offer it as a paid or free bonus for readers? Not only could it help you make more money, build an email list, but you may draw attention to yourself in the short reads market which may lead to sales of your longer books.

If Lee Child is doing with his Jack Reacher books, there’s nothing stopping you from doing the same with your own characters too.

Think maybe you should hold off on that second book until you’ve wrung as much as you can from the first one?

Me too. –  Now off you pop and get to work.